File: Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) announced a new effort Thursday to make climate change a central issue in Congress this year, saying they would attempt to marshal civic groups, private industry, religious organizations and others to pressure senators toward action.

The pair said they had formed a new “Climate Action Task Force” with other Democratic senators that has a wide variety of goals, including obtaining the 60 votes needed in the chamber to put a price on carbon emissions as a way of curbing the greenhouse gases responsible for warming the earth. They said they would roll out their full agenda Tuesday.